Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Mockingbirds Honest, Authentic

(Image from Indiebound)

Alex Patrick isn't the kind of girl who sleeps around. In fact, she's never slept with anyone at all. Which is why waking up next to some guy she barely knows shocks her to her core. She doesn't know his name, can't remember coming to his dorm room, and hopes beyond hope that the condoms in his trash don't mean what she thinks they do. Memories of their night together are so fuzzy she's not sure she'll ever remember anything, let alone the most important question of all: Did she consent to having sex with a boy whose name she can't even remember?

One thing is certain - Alex drank way too much on the night in question. Still, pieces of the evening are floating back and the more she remembers, the surer she becomes that Carter Hutchinson raped her. Now he's bragging about it to anyone who'll listen. Alex has to do something, but she can't go to the administration of her exclusive boarding school (they'd never believe one of their students committed a criminal act) or the police (who would violate her even further with their evidence-gathering). The Mockingbirds are her only hope. Themis Academy's secret justice society has its own kind of power; Alex just has to convince its judges to wield it in her behalf. But proving her case means reliving the worst night of her life, ruining another student's reputation, and enduring threats from a very angry Carter. Is it worth the fight? Does she have any hope of winning? And what will the battle cost her?

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney discusses date rape with an honesty so searing it can only come from personal experience. The author was violated while in college and, although she took a more traditional route to justice than her heroine, going through the process herself means that Whitney's book rings with an authenticity that will speak to not only rape victims but to all women. Although the writing gets awkward at times, the story moves quickly, the characters are mostly interesting, and the secret society angle gives a common topic some originality. I expected the book to blow me away. It didn't. Still, it was a compelling read. Not an easy one, but one that made me think.

(Readalikes: Um, I can't think of any, although it references To Kill A Mockingbird quite a bit.)

Grade: B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for language and sexual content

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. I'm planning on reading this one soon. Such a terrible topic but one that happens all too frequently. These type of books need to be available to teens. Thanks for sharing, Susan!

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  2. Good review. I'm really curious to read this one.
    -Rachel Star

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